Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rotting fish stink lingers in Howard Beach

Thousands of dead fish are clogging a canal in Howard Beach and causing alarm in the neighborhood.

Residents said for the past two weeks they have had to endure the smell of rotting fish coming from Shellbank Basin. They are demanding an answer from the city.

But city officials attributed the die-off to a "natural phenomenon."

"It's like sitting in a garbage dump on a 90-degree day," said Bob Giallanzo, 53, a worker with the Department of Transportation who lives along the basin. "Everything in there is dying."

The dead fish are mostly menhaden - known around Jamaica Bay as bunker - an oily bait fish used by recreational anglers that doesn't fare well in poorly aerated water. The fish swim in large schools and likely suffocated in water poorly oxygenated due to a massive algae bloom, a city official said.

Howard Beach residents sick of dead fish smell from Shellbank Basin

City Councilman Joe Addabbo (D-Ozone Park) said the stench is affecting local businesses and schools. Addabbo and neighbors said the city may have stopped using a destratification process that pumps air into the water of the canal and allows fish to breathe.

The city is using skimmer boats to clean the dead fish from the canal, but neighbors said that the area's ecosystem - including seagulls and even rats - has already been affected.

"There are dead birds on top of the dead fish," said Maureen Muller, 63, a receptionist who lives near the basin. "People are sick to their stomachs."


Anonymous said...

I'm tellin' ya,
it's Gotti's ghost
now that he sleeps with the fishes!

Anyone have dinner reservations
at "Russo's On The Bay"?

Don't order seafood (gag)!

Anonymous said...

I mentioned to my boyfriend, if you see specials for fish in the restaurants on cross bay, you know what there cooking. Its really disgusting whats going on, and it has taken about 3 weeks for DEP to finally start cleaning these dead fish. Its sad that we have to live in such conditions, why do we even pay taxes? Its a shame.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a picture as they opened the doors of the clubhouse for a good airing out.

BJmetro78 said...

I think they've opened the doors of Dennis Gallagher's former campaign office, where the carpets and sofas had been repeatedly saturated with bodily fluids, DNA and sweat from a repulsive bald head - and then left to rot when the pervert resigned in disgrace.